Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Some very large tides following the recent full moon meant that high tide on both days forced waders onto a small section of coastline around The Narrows. This meant that a total of 11 species of waders were seen during this period, comprising a single Lapwing on the 15th, and one Ringed Plover, one Sanderling, seven Purple Sandpipers, six Dunlins, a Whimbrel, 28 Curlews, two Redshanks, five Common Sandpipers and three Turnstones on the 16th. Aside these, a pod of six Risso's Dolphins on the 15th gave fantastic views, showing well to the east of the South End.

Pied Hoverfly (Scaevia pyrastri)
The first returning Purple Sandpipers of the autumn were recorded today. Purple Sandpipers were found to have an interesting breeding system from a study in Svalbard. A single male was found to be responsible for most parental care of hatchlings, and yet the female did not have any more mates (i.e. is not polyandrous).  
 There are plenty of young Oystercatchers around the coast at the moment. Did you know? There are two main techniques that Oystercatchers use to acquire their diet of bivalves such as mussels: some birds use a 'stabbing' technique, whereby they sneak up on open molluscs and severe the adductors with their bill before the mollusc can 'clam up'; other birds are 'hammerers', which shatter one shell of the mollusc with a rapid series of powerful blows, before the adductors are cut and the meat is removed from within. Young Oystercatchers such as this one mostly have to learn such a technique by observing their parents 
Nettle Taps (Anthophila fabriciana)  are an abundant micro moth present around patches of Nettle at the moment

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That is quite early to see a Purple Sandpiper. Love the first flight shot and the second shot of the water washing over the bird.